Bovey Lee
Artist: Bovey Lee Gallery: Rena Bransten Gallery Photographer: John Janca

Art at Chapman: The Papercuts of Bovey Lee

Take a break from your remote work and get swept away by the beauty of Bovey Lee’s paper cut, We Are All Mountaineers – Exit (出). Her piece is on display in the Rinker Campus Health Sciences Study Commons.  

About the Art

We Are All Mountaineers – Exit (出), is the first Lee made in the series and serves as an “ancestor” for the other works. Using symbols, motifs, and news images, the work reconstructs a brief history of U.S. immigration with mountains and several U.S. cities populated by immigrants serving as a backdrop. Recurring motifs (including stars, gates, fences, oceans) featured in the other works in the We Are All Mountaineers series all stem from this work. Many of the works from this series depict children either alone or in suspended poses; each child seeks comfort and stability through play or toys, while staying afloat in the transitory ocean with poise and courage.

[Paper is] a very intimate material and familiar to everyone; we handle and use paper every day. The paper that I use, Chinese rice paper, is both personally and culturally significant. Chinese invented paper so it’s part of my lineage. It is also the first art material I knew that evokes memories and history. – Bovey Lee

About the Artist

Bovey Lee is a paper-cut artist based in Los Angeles, California, USA. Born in Hong Kong, Lee was inspired by Chinese calligraphy from an early age, and later went on two MFAs – one from the University of California, Berkeley, and a second in computer graphics and interactive media from Pratt Institute in New York. Lee began experimenting with cut paper in 2005 and has been able to incorporate both of her degrees into the creative process. First, Lee creates a hand sketch of the composition, then she forms a compilation of images on the computer in order to create a more ornate template. After the computer graphic is created, she uses it as a loose guide while using an x-acto knife to cut out the negative space in the paper.

Explore Chapman University’s Escalette Collection

The Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art is an academic unit of Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences that installs, researches, stores and cares for the artwork in the collection, and organizes exhibitions and community outreach throughout Chapman’s campus. We are committed to the development of a focused permanent collection of art that meets teaching and research needs on campus, reflects the multi-cultural nature of Southern California, promotes new artistic talent in the region, and participates in current global artistic discourse.

Curious to learn more? Check out the Escalette Collection of Art’s virtual museum tours

Display Image at Top/ Bovey Lee, We Are All Mountaineers – Exit (出), Chinese xuan paper on silk, 2018. Purchased with funds from the Escalette Endowment. 2019.2.1